Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Book Review of The Woodcutter by Kate Danley


Goodreads Summary: Deep within the Wood, a young woman lies dead. Not a mark on her body. No trace of her murderer. Only her chipped glass slippers hint at her identity.

The Woodcutter, the keeper of the peace between the Twelve Kingdoms of Man and the Realm of the Faerie, must find the maiden’s killer before others share her fate. Guided by the wind and aided by three charmed axes won from the River God, the Woodcutter begins his hunt, searching for clues in the whispering dominions of the enchanted unknown.

But quickly he finds that one murdered maiden is not the only nefarious mystery afoot: one of Odin’s hellhounds has escaped, a sinister mansion appears where it shouldn’t, a pixie dust drug trade runs rampant, and more young girls go missing. Looming in the shadows is the malevolent, power-hungry queen, and she will stop at nothing to destroy the Twelve Kingdoms and annihilate the Royal Fae…unless the Woodcutter can outmaneuver her and save the gentle souls of the Wood.

Blending magic, heart-pounding suspense, and a dash of folklore, The Woodcutter is an extraordinary retelling of the realm of fairy tales.

Goodreads Rating: 3.61 stars with over 3,600 ratings

Genres: Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Fiction, Young Adult, Mystery, Retellings, Magic

Get the Book: AmazonBook Depository

Review:

Edited 12/1/2016

The Woodcutter is a retelling of several classic fairy tales. It takes a similar approach as Once Upon a Time or Into the Woods. What I mean by that is instead of just telling one story it gives all of the fairy tale characters their world and lets them mingle. In this story, however, something goes terribly wrong, and the stories aren't going as planned. Enter the Woodcutter. A mysterious entity all his own, who's sworn purpose is to protect the twelve kingdoms.

I almost didn't finish this book. It has a slow start to it and is worded like a classic story (which makes it even harder for me to get into.) That being said, I'm glad that I kept reading. It's a bit of a tedious read right until the Woodcutter gets into his quest. I couldn't put it down once it finally caught my interest.

I thought how Kate Danley retold the fairy tales was interesting. The princes of the twelve kingdoms are captured, and it's up to the Woodcutter to restore the balance. He guides some of the princesses along to find their prince. What's nice about this is that it makes some of the princesses background heroines. A few of them go on their quests to give their princes true love's first kiss. It's a nice change of pace from all of the fairy tales that have the princesses waiting around for their prince.

In a way, I felt that the Woodcutter had two journeys. The primary mission was trying to save the kingdoms. Then there's the second voyage, and this one is a quest that gets him what he wants most in life. I won't go into much more detail on this. Spoilers and whatnot. I promise if you read the book you'll understand what I mean, though. Both journeys are touching and well done.

As far as characters go, I felt we were given just enough details to keep the story going. I don't have a whole lot of thoughts on the characters. The Woodcutter obviously was the most developed character; it was obvious he loved the people he protected and his woods. The rest of the characters served their purpose, but I don't feel like I can add more to that. Sorry, I know that leaves a lot to be desired. I just don't feel strong one way or another beyond that the characters worked.

I tend to think about the ratings I'm going to give while I'm reading. Up until the last two or three chapters I was going to give this three moons. The last two or three episodes, however, have made me decide to give it four moons.

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